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Astronomers see black hole swallow neutron star






After passing almost four years of exploration of cosmic happenings, scientists have found the third variety of collisions. The new collision includes one black hole and one neutron star. Scientists observed dozens of mergers of black holes and a couple of mergers of neutron stars. Researchers say they have done observing the unique ripples in space-time caused by such a collision. “These were not events where the holes munched on the neutron stars like the Cookie Monster and flung bits and pieces about,” one physicist said. “With this magnificent discovery of neutron star-black hole mergers outside the galaxy, we have found the missing type of binary,” Astrid Lamberts said. “We can now begin to comprehend how many of these exist, and why we have not yet seen such examples in the Milky Way.” The two new detections both came in January 2020 and there was a gap of 10 days between those two events, and the collisions are now known as GW200105 and GW200115 for the dates they were observed. One was detected by both twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors and Europe’s similar Virgo detector, the other by only one of the LIGO detectors and Virgo. Scientists believe that GW200115 involved a black hole nearly six times the mass of our sun devouring a neutron star with a mass half again larger than our sun, and that the merger took place between 650 million and 1.5 billion light-years away. GW200105 wasn’t detected as definitively, but scientists suspect it was a merger between a black hole about nine times the mass of the sun and a neutron star about twice as massive as the sun about 550 million and 1.3 billion light-years away.

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